Take a quick look at these numbers from NetMarketShare’s Desktop Operating System Market Share graph for the period through the end of June, 2013. Though XP (37.17%) and 7 (44.37%) are still way out in front, Windows 8 (5.1%) finally overtops Vista (4.62%). The next step up, howerver — as the old saying goes — “is a doozy!” Given Microsoft’s switchover to yearly OS refreshes going forward, I’m modestly comfortable asserting that it’s highly likely that Windows 8’s marketshare (as measured by NetMarketShare) will NEVER catch up to either XP or Windows 7, either. Each had 3-6 years of market-leading purchase preferences to establish its base, something Windows 8 will never enjoy.
Here are the latest market share readings from www.netmarketshare.com (OS, by version) through the end of June, 2013.
It’s interesting to wonder how high Windows 8’s numbers will climb before Windows 8.1 takes up its own segment on this pie chart. Even more interesting — and probably no more so for anybody than for the Windows OS team in Redmond — will be to see how quickly that Windows 8.1 slice grows. Microsoft is apparently pinning some hefty hopes on appealing to business users and corporate license negotiators to consider and adopt Windows 8.1 as “ready for business use.” The realization of those hopes hinges in large part on how soon that slice appears (it has to be greater than 1% to register at all, if I understand the charting approach used here) and how quickly it starts moving counter clockwise from the mid-night position that the “Other” category currently occupies.